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Wednesday, 29 September 1971
Page: 1717


Mr Cohen (ROBERTSON, NEW SOUTH WALES) asked the Minister for Ship ping and Transport, upon notice:

(1)   Has he taken any action regarding motor vehicle advertisements that place undue emphasis on speed and power.

(2)   If not, will he take ' action in the near future.


Mr Nixon - The answer to the honour able member's question is as follows:

(1)   The Australian Transport Advisory Council, which comprises Commonwealth and State Ministers with transport responsibilities, has for some years taken a very close interest in this matter.

Council took positive steps in 1968 when one of its committees, the then Australian Road Safety Council, approached national advertising organisations regarding the content of certain publicity material which detracted from safe driving practices. These advertising organisations responded most favourable and since that time the emphasis in motor vehicle advertising has been more towards highlighting safety, comfort and reliability features of cars than either their power or speed.

In addition, the major advertising organisations, in conjunction with the Australian Broadcasting Control Board, publish a guide to advertisers. This is a measure directed towards ensuring that the publicity content of material used by the various media conforms to certain standards and avoids the use of advertisements likely to influence drivers adversely.

Air-bag Safety Device (Question No. 4202)


Mr Cohen asked the Minister for Ship ping and Transport, upon notice:

Can he say what stage of development the airbag safety device has reached in the United States of America,


Mr Nixon - The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

Current U.S. Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards specify passive restraint systems as one of three alternatives for occupant protection for passenger cars manufactured after 1st January 1972. From 15th August 1973, a passive restraint system becomes mandatory for new passenger cars, that is, the 1974 models.

The Air Bag is currently one of the most developed forms of passive restraint system and I understand that is is likely some 1973 model passenger cars in the United States may incorporate it.

Although prototypes have been produced and demonstrated, I understand the development of mass production versions for use as original equipment by vehicle manufacturers has not been completed.

Problems have been reported including noise hazard, injury to occupants from the bag, failure of the bag to provide protection unless occupants wearlap belts and failure to operate in situations other than a front end collision.

Of serious concern also is the question of achieving complete reliability of the device when manufactured in large numbers. For example, it is necessary to avoid inadvertent operation when not required and failure to operate after long periods of storage in the vehicle.

Seat Belts (Question No. 4208)


Mr Cohen asked the Minister for the

Interior, upon notice:

When will the Australian Capital Territory and the Northern Territory have compulsory seat belt legislation.


Mr Hunt - The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

I have accepted the advice of the A.C.T. Advisory Council for legislation for the compulsory wearing of seat belts in the Australian Capital

Territory. It is hoped that the legislation will be introduced this year.

Legislation requiring the fitting of seat belts to the front seats of passenger cars and passenger car derivatives manufactured after 1st January 1970 was introduced in the Australian Capital Territory on 31st December 1969. This provision was extended on 2nd September 1971 to require these types of vehicles, manufactured after 1st January 1971, to have seat belts fitted for all seating positions.

As far as the Northern Territory is concerned Private Member's Bills were recently introduced to the Territory Legislative Council to provide for (i) the compulsory fitting of seat belts to specified vehicles manufactured after 1st January 1972; and (ii) the compulsory wearing of seat belts in all vehicles where seat belts are fitted.

Official members supported the Bills which were passed by Council on 18th August 1971.

Road Safety (Question No. 3507)


Dr Everingham asked the Minister for

Shipping and Transport, upon notice:

(1)   Can he say whether consumers are enticed to buy cars by the use of psychologically tested means which appeal to biological drives in ways which are contrary to drives found conducive to road safety.

(2)   If so, what action has been taken by the Commonwealth and State Governments to control or counter this type of advertising.


Mr Nixon - The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

(1)   There have been instances where advertisements featuring motor vehicles have emphasised the speed and power potential of vehicles as a means of influencing sales. Nevertheless, such advertising has always been deprecated by those people involved in road accident prevention.

(2)   The Australian Transport Advisory Council, which comprises Commonwealth and State Ministers with transport responsibilities, has for some years taken a very close interest in this matter.

Council took positive steps in 1968 when one of its committees, the then Australian Road Safety Council, approached national advertising organisations regarding the content of certain publicity material which detracted from safe driving practices. These advertising organisations responded most favourably and since that time the emphasis in motor vehicle advertising has been more towards highlighting safety, comfort and reliability features of cars than either their power or speed.

There are no legislative measures to control or counter adverse advertising of the particular nature referred to. However, the major advertising organisations, in conjunction with the Australian Broadcasting Control Board, publish a guide to advertisers. This is a measure directed towards ensuring that the publicity content of material used by the various media conforms to certain standards. The guide is more than helpful in avoiding the use of advertisements likely to influence drivers adversely.







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